Thursday, October 22, 2015

Veneto-Kamari

View to Kamari
Distance: 8,9 km
Time: 4 hours (walking time 3.45')
Altitude: from 230 m. (Veneto) to 275 m. (max) to 0 m. (Kamari)
Total ascent: 432 m.  Total descent: 623 m.
Signed with red paint marks, a few signs
Drinking water on walk: no
Download GPS track: from Everytrail   from Wikiloc


     
         This is an excellent route in the relatively unknown North Pelion, which starts out from Veneto with quite a large section of kalderimi and continues on paths mostly through natural forest at an altitude of approximately 150 – 250 metres, ending finally at the beach Kamari (near the village of Keramidi), where we can refresh ourselves in the Aegean Sea. It is suitable for all seasons, even the summer, since there is shade along most of its length. Following recent clearing work in 2015-2016, the route is now open, well marked with signs and red dots and is waiting to charm those who have the good fortune to walk it!

       To return to Veneto, one possibility is to phone for a taxi from Keramidi (tel 6977893576) or from Kanalia (tel 6945277835). Another option is to ascend to Keramidi on foot (see the route Kamari-Keramidi) and either take the bus to Volos (www.ktelvolou.gr), or walk back to Veneto using the O2 national path (Keramidi-Veneto). At Kamari there are guesthouses and restaurants, as the beach attracts tourists (mostly domestic) during the summer season.
Kamari beach
Our starting point is the main church of Ipapandi in Veneto, a little before the square on the left as we enter the village. It's worth spending a little time at this noteworthy monument, built in 1765-67, to admire the ornate carved wooden iconostasis (if the church is open).
Carved wooden iconostasis of Ipapandi church
     We walk in front of the church on a short section of kalderimi that survives, and then downhill to the left on a cement road. At the last houses in the village the main road takes a right turn, but we continue straight ahead in a northwesterly direction on a narrow earth road which soon becomes a kalderimi, passing next to a ruined stone hut. We come out onto an earth road, cross a small stream and continue uphill on the road. Further up there is a road junction. Here we go straight ahead in a northwesterly direction following the path, which runs next to a house and then becomes cobblestone (kalderimi).
Path-kalderimi in a tunnel of vegetation near Veneto
         The kalderimi goes over the Trano Rema stream bed and ascends through holm oak forest, where it becomes a path again. At junctions we stick to the main, better-trodden path. We come out into a rocky clearing, Schismata, with a pleasant view towards the village and the sea. We reenter the forest and further on there is a junction to the left with a path that ascends to the south west (attention, we don`t take that), coming out at a hut in the location called Vigla. Always following the red dots, we go straight on at this point, descending to the north, and in a short distance the path turns to the west and we come to cross the Platanakos stream. Just below us, the (normally dry) stream forms an impressive, ten meter high waterfall over the rocks.
Stream of Platanakos
         We cross the stream bed and ascend on the path, which widens and turns into an abandoned earth road. This section was previously closed by brambles. Now, however, it presents no problems and after a short distance we turn right onto a path that soon comes out onto a wide earth road at a fork. We follow this uphill and, shortly before a sharp left hand bend in the road, we find the continuity of the path to our right.
The beautiful path through the forest leads us to an upward-sloping clearing. This is called Portokalivia and was inhabited in the past. It is a good spot to stop for a rest. The path continues from the top right of the clearing. We cross a stream and walk up a stony hillside with white marble stone. From certain points we can see the Aegean sea at the distance.
View to the sea
When we reach the ridge, we walk through an abandoned grove with a threshing floor. This location is called Kato Stefani. Going to the left on dry stone terraces in a westerly direction, we find our way helped by the red marks and signs. Further on, we cross another stream, the Araporema. We ascend to the opposite ridge, Sferdouklia, alongside an abandoned olive grove, and then cross another stream and ascend to the next ridge, Ano Tsouka, passing next to a stone hut. Close to here, according to information from retired forest warden mr. Koutsibanas, there is a cave.

Seeing Kamari from Ano Tsouka ridge
        As we reach the ridge, we can at last see Kamari and the small harbor next to it, beyond a smaller ridge, Kato Tsouka. As we descend, we come across a shepherds gate, open it to pass through, and leave it shut behind us. 
       Eventually, the path ends at a cement road. Another path also comes out to this road just to our left. Following the road, we descend between the houses and reach a wide cement-paved stream bed, which soon brings us down to the beach.
Kamari in summer



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